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Nov 10, 2007

A Birthday Gift Request from Me to You


Hey, I'm 40!  Plans for today:

Over the last few weeks, some folks have asked what I wanted for my birthday but nothing ever came to mind until just now.  If you're reading this, you get first dibs on making my day if you'd like.  But first, some background:

A few weeks ago I was talking with K and asked her this, "if you could wave a magic wand and change the world by adding a few more good things or taking away some bad things, what would you do?"  I had picked "adding more good" but K said immediately, "I'd take away some bad."  Her reasoning: there's so much pain that comes from a few very bad things; taking away a few -- whether genocide or misguided foreign policy, drug addiction or abuse -- would make such a difference.

I guess I'm not surprised I picked "adding more good."  It's easier to plant a thousand flowers than it is to stop one rape, and I've never been good at confrontation.  I hope to get better at speaking truth to power, and if it starts happening, I'll let you know.

But meanwhile, here's my birthday gift request.  If you would for me, sometime this week, either:

1.  Go out your way (through greater effort or greater imagination) to do more good than you planned to


2.  Go out of your way to do less harm, or to prevent someone else from doing harm that could be stopped.

If you feel like it, let me know what you did (or even just let me know that you did something).  I'll be thankful for the gift you're giving to me, to yourself, and to everybody else.

Peace and good to you.


cool birthday invitation by INKIdesign

12:00 AM in Me, Things I'd Like to See or Do | Permalink


Phil. I will indeed do this. Hm...now to see exactly what! My love and hugs and kisses to you, dear.

Posted by: stew | Nov 10, 2007 7:12:38 AM

Happy Birthday man! Umm, doing your first request should be easy since normally I don't do nothing.

Posted by: Elrond Hubbard | Nov 10, 2007 9:18:25 AM

Happy birthday! And such a portentous one, too. I had a big party when I was 39, so I wouldn't have to have one when the odometer next rolled over. :) You also wear 40 well: you look much younger IMO.

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas | Nov 10, 2007 11:09:22 AM

Happy Birthday Dude! I'm 35 today. cya!


Posted by: Sean-Friend of Stew | Nov 10, 2007 12:12:25 PM

This is what I've done so far. Mind you, I've not been out that much, but I'm trying.

Location: Watts Grocery, lunchtime. Good deed--verbally empathized with bartender who had some man snap at him about something stupid. Avoiding bad deed: didn't snap at bartender myself though he didn't even bring me a menu or get me a drink for almost 10 minutes after I sat down at the bar to eat alone.

If I make it outside my house at all again today, I'll continue the quest.


Posted by: stew | Nov 10, 2007 2:26:48 PM

Happy Birthday! I'll be joining you at the big 40 later this month. Hope to see you soon-

Posted by: Lisa | Nov 10, 2007 10:13:46 PM

Happy Birthday hun!

Son did a good thing today - he was nice to a kid at his school who needed a friend at possibly some social cost to himself (middle school!)

Posted by: Marianne | Nov 11, 2007 12:44:23 PM

To quote Owl from Winnie the Pooh:


And I hope that it's a particularly enjoyable one. :)

I'll have to work out what precisely will be my birthday gift to you. It's not likely to happen today since I'm ensconced on my couch covered by two blankets and two cats, enjoying the temperate 58 degree indoor temperature. Not likely to move anytime soon. :)

Posted by: Celeste | Nov 11, 2007 2:54:33 PM

Happy Birthday, P! :)

Posted by: Darcy | Nov 13, 2007 4:33:48 PM

happy birthday! mine is coming up soon and I can't even say that number out loud :-)

Posted by: Pinky | Nov 13, 2007 11:20:25 PM

Phil, looks like you got a birthday present in the form of celuloid celebrity: a very brief snapshot of your profile toward the end of last evening's "Durham: A Self-Portrait" film premiere at the Carolina. You were looking over one of those 1891 bird's-eye maps of downtown while at CenterFest.

Wow, you shared screen time with John Franklin Hope and Mary DBT Seamans. Impressive!

Posted by: ASE | Nov 17, 2007 11:05:31 AM

Hey hey!

Now that you mention it, I remember the photographers wandering around that day, and may even remember that they had a camera or two trained on me while I talked with the Preservation Durham people.

Posted by: Phil | Nov 17, 2007 12:28:47 PM